MOTION CONTROL: In order to provide ideal support to drive vendors within the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG), the EtherCAT Slave Sample Code now includes the CANopen drive profile according to the ETG implementation guideline. With this new update, the sample code becomes even simpler for drive vendors to utilize EtherCAT. The common code basis leads to unified interfaces and simplified setup, especially considering that the drive parameters have also been integrated into the EtherCAT conformance test tool.
The EtherCAT specifications cover not only the “How” to communicate, but also the “What”: Device profiles define the functionality and their parameters as well as the content and formatting of the process data. The standard IEC 61800-7 specifies the drive profiles that EtherCAT uses: part 201 of the standard is the CANopen drive profile CiA402, while part 204 is the SERCOS drive profile.
The implementation guideline of the EtherCAT Technology Group for CiA 402 selects the cyclic synchronous communication modes among the various drive operation modes: they are not only the ones with the best performance, but also have the fewest parameters and provide the simplest interface as a result.
These operation modes have been covered by the EtherCAT conformance test tool for some time. The new development is their implementation in the sample code for slave devices, which is now shipping with EtherCAT slave evaluation kits. So far industrial automation and controls vendor Beckhoff Automation has shipped over 700 of these kits and the kit purchasers get the enhanced code as a free update.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.